Purchasing a new sofa is a big decision and can be a big investment; being one of the most used items of furniture in the home it’s important to achieve a balance between form, function and of course budget.
Our extensive couch buying guide has all the information you need to help you purchase your perfect sofa. We'll cover:
- Out 5 step guide to buying a sofa
- What you should look for when buying a sofa
- The different types of sofas
- The different styles of sofas
- Our selection of sofas under $1000, $1500, and $2000
- Our selection of sofas between $2000 - $3000 and between $3000 - $5000
A sofa needs to look great, feel comfortable and be built to last.
No matter what your budget or your style is, the purchase of a good quality couch is one of the biggest, best and most important purchases you can make for your home.
It’s always a delicate balance between:
- Staying within your budget and getting the best possible quality couch you can afford.
- Buying a style that you absolutely love right now, and one that will also continue to look great for many years to come.
- Choosing the right colour
- Getting the comfort factor right – is it a couch for sitting in? Does it need to be long enough for you to stretch out fully? Or is it about having enough seat depth that you can comfortably curl up in the corner?
There’s no right or wrong answer – buying a couch is a very personal decision. We’ve pulled together this handy guide on things to consider when you are buying a couch so that you can get the one best suited to you and your home, plus our picks of some of the best couches on the market, by price point.
Before you head out to the shops we suggest doing a little bit of prep work.
STEP 1 - The first step in buying a new sofa is to determine its primary function. Sometimes a sofa that looks good may not offer the level of comfort required for chillaxing in on weekends. On the other hand, a sofa that is purely for show in a formal living room won’t need to be as hard wearing as one that it’s used frequently.
STEP 2 - Next, grab the tape measure and take down the dimensions of your current couch. Knowing the size of your current lounge will help a lot when you are in store looking at new couches.
STEP 3 - If you are thinking of getting a bigger couch, it might be worthwhile marking out the dimensions of the couch you are considering on the floor of your room. That way you can make sure that your other furniture still fits and that there is room to move freely around.
STEP 4 - Choosing colour and design is a personal decision and there are so many variations to choose from! See below for our quick guide to some of the couch styles which are currently popular.
STEP 5 - And of course you need to work out your budget. If you are not sure of what is driving the price differences between different couches, then don't stress - we’ve done some of the research for you.
|Warranty||A good quality sofa should come with a 10 year warranty|
|Frames||Look for frames that are built to last. Ideally they should be constructed of a hard wood such as Oak or Pine. If the frame is MDF or plywood it is more likely to crack over time.|
|Springs||Springs should sit closely together and be firm and able to bounce back. If a sofa only has webbing it can feel uncomfortable and won’t have longevity.
There are 2 main types of spring types to look out for that will affect the price.
|Eight-way hand tied spring coils: Considered to be the better product as it’s more robust, the coils are positioned close together, hand tied to each other and attached to webbing for extra support and to prevent shifting.|
|Sinuous (“S”) Springs: Sit together in rows of snaking that run from the front to the back of the sofa. S' springs are still a good option as they are supportive but it’s important a heavy weight metal is used to prevent any sagging.|
|Webbing||A good quality webbing is called ‘Black Cat’ – it’s made from the material as a car seat belt. Webbing helps to support the seat cushions to prevent them from sagging. Black Cat carries a 10 year warranty and is an absolute must.|
|Cushioning||There are a few options for seat cushioning depending on the look and feel that you want. Most good quality seat cushions are made from high density foam. The foam can then be wrapped with Dacron for added softness which will help to hold the shape of the seat. Another option is to wrap the foam with feather to give the sofa a softer, more casual, lived-in feel.|
|Upholstery||There are literally thousands of options but it is important to look for a fabric that has a minimum of 40,000 rubs on the Martindale rub test. The Martindale test results are used to check fabrics for their durability and abrasion performance. 40,000 is considered suitable for residential applications.|
Depending on how the size of your space is or how many people you need to seat, you can choose from several different types of sofas.
A modular sofa consists of separate components that are interchangeable and can be positioned in different configurations. Also referred to as a 'sectional' sofa, a modular provides maximum flexibility as it can be taken apart and placed around the room if required.
Another great advantage of a modular is that is provides ample space to stretch out and take a nap on, and while they are suited to spacious, modern living areas, they also work well in a smaller living space. This is because having one seamless piece of furniture helps to create the illusion of space rather trying to squeeze sofa and arm chair or two sofas into a room that can't quite accommodate them.
Three Seater Sofa
A sofa acts as a focal point for a living area. A three-seater is one of the most popular sized sofas as it provides ample room for sitting comfortably with family or friends. Sizes can vary but a general approximate size would 2400 long x 100mm deep.
Two Seater Sofa or Love Seat
A two-seater is a nice compact option, perfect for living rooms of a smaller scale. Designed for two people, the small proportions offer the flexibility to incorporate an arm chair or ottoman in a smaller space such as a sitting area, or can be used in a larger area as part of set. Again sizes can vary but a general size would 1600 long x 950mm deep.
A sofa bed offers the flexibility of being able to double as a guest bed. A great option for an office / guest room or for apartment living.
Why should indoor sofas get all the attention? Creating a beautiful, comfortable outdoor living space holds just as much importance as the inside of a home. Blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces has become the way of the future and helps to creating a feeling of of having more livable space.
The evergreen Chesterfield is a traditional design featuring curved arms and a button studded back. This time the Chesterfield has been re-interpreted in luscious velvets – look out for rich colours like charcoal grey, navy blue and deep greens from forest to teal.
Modular or Sectional Couches
Where both the Mid-Century and Chesterfield couch designs are stand alone pieces of furniture, a modular or sectional lounge is multiple pieces fitted together. Often including a chaise section, the modular lounge is a comfortable, flexible option.
Mid Century Modern, Danish or Scandinavian are all terms used to refer to the design style made popular in the 1950’s and 60’s that is experiencing a resurgence. Mid-Century Couches are distinguished by their low backs, and relatively low seat heights. They are not overly padded, and often sit on gently tapered wooden legs given them the appearance of being very light in a space.
The Ultimate Test is Comfort
The most important piece of advice we can give when it comes to buying a couch is – take your time. When you find a couch you like the look of, sit on it. And not just for one minute. Sit for 5 or 10 minutes – is your back comfortable? Is it the right height and depth for you?
Most people keep their couches for a long time, so taking the time to make sure you are going to love sitting on your new couch is worth it.
We hope you found this article helpful. If you are ready to start building your wish list of products, then be sure to check out our Lounges and Sofas product range where you can
shop from 700+ couches, sofas and lounges on House of Home.
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